A SEPTUAGENARIAN was killed while another was injured and an estimated P20-million worth of properties were burned to ashes in a fire Monday afternoon in Pagadian City, an official said.

Senior Inspector Reggy Olmedo, Pagadian City fire marshal, identified as fatality as Leonido Bendanillo, 60, a resident of San Pedro village.

Olmedo said Bendanillo’s wife suffered second degree burns and was admitted in the hospital for treatment.

Investigation showed the fire started around 12:10 p.m. Monday at one of the houses at Purok Campo Islam in the village of Santiago and rapidly spread.

Olmedo said the fire fanned out toward the adjacent village of San Pedro due to strong winds, and razed at least 1,500 houses mostly made of light materials and semi-concrete structures.

Also razed were the Santiago Elementary School and the Day Care Center, according to Olmedo.

He said the fire, which lasted until past 4 p.m., has displaced more than 2,000 families.

He said firemen from the nearby towns of Aurora, Dinas, and Molave also responded to the fire call.

Haron Damada, city disaster risk reduction and management office coordinator, said they have dispatched rescue volunteers and members of the Barangay Emergency Response Team to assist in the evacuation of the fire victims.

Damada said the victims are temporarily houses at the Plaza Luz’s covert court, Pagadian City gymnasium and San Pedro fish port.

He said the City Social Welfare and Development Office provided food packs and P200 initial cash assistance to each family.

He said the Philippine Red Cross Pagadian City-Zamboanga del Sur chapter also distributed bottled drinking water to the fire victims.